Were you injured on the job? Perhaps you’re wondering why you shouldn’t file a lawsuit against your employer rather than filing a workers’ compensation claim. In order to reduce workplace tensions and to provide a resolution to employer-employee conflict, in most situations, a lawsuit is not even permitted and workers’ compensation is the only legal remedy available.
Some exceptions in which a lawsuit might remain a possibility include scenarios in which you have been assaulted by your employer or have been placed under undue emotional stress or have been knowingly placed in hazardous conditions. Another exception would be if the employer processes the employee’s workers’ compensation application or retaliates against the employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Although public policy regarding workplace injuries prohibits most lawsuits against employers, employees still have the option of suing responsible third parties. Some examples of this include an inspector who fails to warn of a dangerous situation or the manufacturer of a product that caused a workplace injury.
Instead of suing your employer, the law office of DDB Law – with lawyers on our team who are Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Workers’ Compensation – can not only help you file your workers’ compensation claim, but can also use our extensive knowledge of the law to help prevent common employer issues after the filing of a claim. Some of those issues include the employer refusing to turn your injury report in to their insurance carrier, refusing to provide complete and accurate information to the carrier, preventing you from going to see a doctor following a workplace injury, and harassing or even firing you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
For more information about how we can help you with your workers’ compensation claim, contact us today.
An interesting workers compensation decision handed down by a New Jersey appellate court panel demonstrates why an employee, in Florida and elsewhere, should not give up on a workers’ comp claim too easily. Workers’ compensation laws do vary to a degree from state to state, but the legal definition of “on the job” has been historically interpreted in ways that often favor workers.
Employee In Crash Departing From Work
In the New Jersey case, an employee of Harrah’s Atlantic City casino was pulling out of the casino’s parking garage and onto MGM Mirage Boulevard at about 10 p.m. when her vehicle was struck by another vehicle in traffic. The casino worker was injured in the crash.
A judge in the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation initially ruled on the May 2012 accident in May of 2013. The judge ordered Harrah’s to pay for the treatment of what were determined to be work-related injuries.
Surveillance Video Determinative
Harrah’s appealed the decision, as its lawyers pointed out that most of the employee’s vehicle was out in traffic on the public thoroughfare at the time of the collision. Survelliance video did confirm that most of the SUV was out on MGM Mirage Boulevard. However, the video also confirmed that the rear bumper of the vehicle had not yet crossed the property line that delineated Harrah’s private property from the public street.
Therefore, a two-judge appellate court panel ruled that the casino worker was, in fact, still on the job. As a result, her injuries were legally defined as work-related and her employer had to pay for her injuries through its workers compensation insurance policy.
Injuries incurred at an individual’s workplace are addressed by a state’s workers compensation laws. As this case illustrates, the legal definition of the workplace is not so readily determined. For more information, or to discuss your situation, please contact us.
Getting injured on the job can be devastating. Lost wages, coupled with escalating medical costs, can make it extremely difficult to get back on track financially. If you have been injured on the job, it is imperative you speak with an attorney who focuses on workers’ compensation claims.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws
- If your employer has four or more full or part-time employees and is in an industry other than construction, he or she is bound by law to cover staff with comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance.
- For the construction industry, the law states that coverage must be provided for all employees, except for corporate officers. The limit of four employees does not apply to the construction industry. If the company retains one or more employees, coverage is mandatory.
- If you are a state employee, the government must retain coverage for all employees.
- In the farming industry, employers must provide coverage if they retain 5 or more “regular” employees or twelve or more part-time “seasonal” employees for 30 or more days of the year.
How to Report an Injury
- Always report an injury to the supervisor on site as soon as possible.
- You may report the injury to your employer no more than 30 days after the incident occurred or within 30 days of diagnosis from a doctor. If you fail to report the injury within the time limit, your claim may be denied.
- Worker’s compensation coverage and insurance information must be posted in the facility where you are employed.
- If you fail to report the injury or need to dispute a denied claim, it is strongly advised you speak with a lawyer as soon as you are able in an effort to gain coverage.
Benefits Can Include the Following:
- Medical Benefits: These should include, but are not limited to, doctor visits, specialist visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, hospitalization, medical tests, and prosthesis.
- Mileage to and from treatment must also be compensated for.
- Lost Wages: Each situation is unique and certain restrictions and regulation apply. You may be entitled to all or most of your wages depending on your situation and the severity of your injuries.
- Death Benefits: These benefits cover final expenses such as medical fees for treatment and funeral costs up to $7,500. In addition, dependents may be eligible for compensation; spouses may be eligible for educational benefits.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a work accident, please contact the attorneys with DiCesare, Davidson, & Barker. Their compassionate and knowledgeable staff is available to answer any questions you may have regarding workers’ compensation benefits.